Sariel is the fourth archangel, the Archangel of Truth, created to manage Heaven's media and keep angels in line with mind-melting works of propaganda. A self-described artist - no, an auteur - Sariel worked tirelessly in this role for many, many years, but in the face of burnout, the restrictions of her existence, and the inevitable destruction of it all with Mastema's victory, she ultimately lost much of her passion. Nowadays, she entertains herself primarily with hedonism, waiting for death to hurry up and get to her already.
Sariel is the fourth archangel, formed from Yaldabaoth's magic and will, and instilled with the power of a dying star. She was created with a simple purpose, to maintain the reality that Yaldabaoth seeked to impose, through the use of magic and propaganda. Her duty was that of a deceiver and handler, one who would keep all of Heaven’s angels happily obedient no matter what.
At this stage in time, Sariel was really just nothing more than a newborn - a close to blank slate, lacking in any truly complex impressions, even if she was designed with a more than slight creative slant. She needed to have one, of course - she was to be an artist, and she was equipped for the task. It took time, though, to grow into this role. Her earliest contributions were simplistic, not the inventions of a person, but the sort of thing a machine would regurgitate from a pool of information. But Sariel learned, and Sariel grew, as she experienced life, received some entirely constructive criticism from her mother, and studied the art she was to master. She traveled and consumed the art of other worlds, learning from their example, dissecting their art and seeing how it worked, and then doing her best to replicate it but better.
Through this tireless hard work, Sariel developed into a proper artist, one with passion and vision, a loyal scion of Heaven who would do everything to expand its dominion. She churned out propaganda at a phenomenal rate, and devoted all of her time and energy to the pursuit and development of art. The most famous of these creations would be Crusading Purity Sariel, an unfathomably long and still-running program on Yesod that stars her in the titular role, as a ditzy but well-meaning angel who works to spread Heaven’s gospel. How? By murdering all the silly, stupid, disgusting animals out there, of course! This work, though initially sincere, gradually grew into its own - into something almost satirical of Heaven, a sardonic and darkly comedic take on the reality of angelic existence. It was a hit, of course, given that angels had no choice but to like something dripping with subliminal messages and hypnotic magic.
And then Sariel made more propaganda. And more. And more, and more, and more. It was a life of ceaseless work, and though Sariel enjoyed it for so long, her steadily expanding worldview began to find her work… lacking. From the start, it had been made with the simple, straightforward psyches of angels in mind. They weren’t stupid, but their views on reality were inherently black and white, with little room for nuance. This frustrated Sariel, who spent so much of her time studying the art of other cultures and people - even if they were lesser than angels and deserved to die, their art had variety. It had complexity. It had depth. Sariel wanted to write like that. She wanted to communicate her feelings like long-dead artists once had, artists who were still spoken of years and years after their deaths.
But she couldn’t do it. Heaven wasn’t prepared for true nuance or complexity. Sure, she slipped a lot through, but none of it was understood by much of anyone. It just flew over their heads. And when Mastema found something objectionable, she bluntly told Sariel to simplify it, with no room for argument. She had no true control, no freedom - she was just a tool. A machine. She could’ve stayed as she was when she was born, and Mastema probably would’ve preferred it. Her development into her own person, her vision, her passion - none of it meant anything, and in the face of the complete oblivion that Mastema advocated, it would mean even less.
This nagged at Sariel, endlessly, day after day, and it became harder and harder to make art that she could care about at all. She couldn’t make anything with depth, she could hardly express her own feelings and thoughts, and even if she did, not only would she die, but her art would vanish, and her audience would one day be reduced to dust. No one would be there to consume what she had created in the far future. There’d be nothing - just an infinite, yawning abyss. And slowly, Sariel’s epiphany gnawed a hole through her soul, a gaping pit that spoiled all she did. But she worked through it. She did her best, at least.
But on the side, knowing what awaited her… Sariel slowly slipped into unhealthy, escapist habits - relying on physical pleasures and hedonism to flee a world that would always let her down, it seemed. She was alone, and completely apart from all others… misunderstood, unwanted, unappreciated. Even her sisters didn’t seem to truly understand her - they all seemed so distant, even those she was closest to. Jophiel, once one of her closest friends, one of the only people who could empathize with her need to create, grew reclusive, speaking primarily with Raziel. And then Lucifer turned up and fucked everything over.
Sariel got off a bit better here than some of her sisters - sure, she ended up getting nearly killed by Lucifer at some point, but… it was something new. It was something interesting, and it was something to do. It was possibility itself, open to her…! And she enjoyed it, she used it in her art and propaganda… it sparked some new life in her. She had always been clever, too, and she was eager to help out in the conflict. And then it ended when Abaddon struck Lucifer down in one final fight, and Mastema threw her into a seal within Tartarus. And Sariel’s life once again returned to emptiness, a worse one than before.
Jophiel had Raziel, and now, somehow… Uriel had Lucifer. They despised each other, and yet… somehow, this demon wretch meant something to her sister. There was an obsession there - even if one-sided, it was a connection that Sariel had always lacked. Jophiel had always had Raziel, too, but now Uriel also had something she didn’t. Something that made Sariel feel all the more alone, opening the void inside her up wider, and truly spoiling her ability to work. She just wanted a confidant, someone who would understand her.
And Sariel followed Uriel’s example when it came to this. Lucifer and Hell weren’t the only of Heaven’s enemies; other civilizations rose and fell over the years, but one that rose alongside Hell remained. It was a stubborn opponent, a thorn in Heaven’s side that Sariel had been dealing with for years, one responsibility among many. They were led by a clever, cunning, underhanded tactician - a military genius with an insight that allowed her to stay ahead of Heaven’s superior forces for longer than should’ve been possible. The fighting wasn’t really active anymore, not after so many losses on both sides, but their peace could hardly be called that. It was tense. There were conflicts.
Sariel had always respected her, but it was that insight that… meant something to her. Heaven had always let her down when it came to art, but the outside world…? It had inspired her, uplifted her, and shown her so many possibilities! Surely, if anyone could understand her art, her true self, it would be this leader, right…? They had fought for so long, even personally - they knew each other, as people. Sariel loathed her just as she grew to obsess over what she had that others didn’t. She would be a solution to the turmoil in her heart.
All Sariel had to do was win, and though it took setup and time… she managed it. Fighting this enemy head-on rarely really happened, and she took great pains to prevent encroachments, using her specialties in deception to her advantage. Sariel fought back in turn, with a deception of her own - a gradual one, that struck at her opponent’s weakness. The society behind her. Through careful mind control and manipulation, Sariel would undermine her position politically, societally, and personally. It took effort to slip these things under everyone’s noses, especially her perceptive, paranoid opponent - but she managed it.
Her greatest opponent lost the influence she once had, and Sariel was ultimately able to best what came after. Her opponent didn’t just leave, however, and stubbornly fought on her own, to the end - but she had lost the resources she once had, and when the two of them faced off themselves… Archangel Sariel was the winner. As a civilization burned and died, reduced to Crusading Purity footage for a universe to witness, Sariel nearly killed their most accomplished hero within her inner world. But she did not. No, she kept the smallest scraps of her soul alive, essentially a template - a template she could shape with her inner world, into an angel. An angel that would rise up through the ranks thanks to her insight and cunning. An angel who would end up in Sariel’s employ. An angel named Metatron.
This was a secret, of course. If Mastema knew, she’d be furious that Sariel would do something so risky and self-indulgent. So Sariel didn’t tell anyone. She passed her opponent off as dead, complete with footage, and slipped Metatron into the system without anyone noticing. Then, she manipulated her rise through the ranks, grooming her into gradually ending up working directly under her. First as one of many, and then, as she racked up successes, as one of Sariel’s most trusted subordinates and de facto second-in-command. But she was more than that. Poor, poor Metatron was made to be Sariel’s confidant - to be her lover. Sariel controlled her mind, but even without that… she went through the time and effort to create the context that would result in a relationship.
And that’s what they got. Here, Sariel found what she had been looking for - at least one person who would understand her, and her art. At first, Metatron was just sort of an outlet for this, but… Sariel grew to genuinely love her, over time. But it wasn’t enough. It didn’t change the fundamental nature of her existence. It didn’t change what she grappled with all her life. It was just one step that allowed her to hold herself together, as she went on with her life of constant, tedious work and endless self-indulgence. Waiting, quietly, for the day that it would all end, and she would be free.
Like all her kin, Sariel is a shapeshifter, a trait that she exploits a bit more, in the pursuit of her many different roles in Heavenly media, only to shed behind the scenes and slip into something more comfortable and natural for her. In this more comfortable guise, Sariel stands tall, over six feet, a height that is lessened by a slouch nurtured through years spent pouring over a desk and generally not bothering to stand straight otherwise. This doesn't go against her figure, however - Sariel is curvaceous, with a thin waist, wide hips, and long, shapely legs. Her build is solid, with a pinch of muscle and a pinch of fat, but not too much of either. Her skin is pale and pristine, unblemished, meticulously maintained by her own perfectionism and vanity, something that stubbornly prohibits her from looking the slightest bit out of order.
Warm, golden-orange hair falls over Sariel's shoulders and down her back, about halfway, growing brighter the further down it goes, and carrying a perpetual, slight glow all throughout. It's wavy and silky soft, bangs swept to one side, kept properly in place by a hairband and a winged star hairclip; a symbol of the Heavenly Press, Sariel's own brancch of the Heavenly government. In her various roles and public appearances, Sariel often does her hair up in all sorts of configurations, but once she's on her own, it goes back down, free at last. Amber eyes stare from beneath her bangs, typically only half-open and carrying with them a sort of dullness that contradicts the rest of her bright, warm colors, only to light up with some impossible, Heavenly light once she's back in character. When she's not, though, there's no point, and the life gradually melts out of them one way or another. Finally, Sariel wears simple, fashionable half-rimmed glasses, and a bit of makeup. She has long, pretty nails, typically painted white or gold, a pair of large, powerful golden wings, and your typical radiant halo.
For the sake of her jobs, Sariel wears a wide variety of outfits, from the typical traditional Heavenly tabard, a pale orange and trimmed with white in her case, to something professional, when she's working in her office or relaxing on her own. A typical outfit here is composed of a sweatervest or waistcoat, in some warm color like gold or orange, overtop a white or black dress shirt, and then completed with a long, flared skirt in her trademark colors, often striped or otherwise patterned. Underneath her skirt, Sariel wears pure white or black tights, depending on the rest of her outfit, and a pair of high heels that are the opposite color, for the sake of contrast. For her various other roles, Sariel would really just wear basically everything, but in her iconic role as the Crusading Purity, and in her existence as an idol, she'd wear the appropriate sort of idol-y getups - elaborate, colorful dresses in her personal colors of choice. She'd even, for the sake of art, bare her midriff...! The horrors. The pains she goes through for art.
This isn't the true Sariel, though. It's just a guise more comfortable than playing along in some asinine, ill-suited role that's an insult to who she really is. The true Sariel, though, must really just be described first and foremost as a cognitohazard, a mass of magic given some sort of exoskeletal form, difficult to make out through the inherent haze of its existence. Rather than have a concrete form, it's really like subliminal messaging just implies one - something with many limbs, maybe far too many, and... is that a stinger? Who knows! Maybe! Most notable of these traits are her enduring halo, and three pairs of massive, trailing wings, no longer clad in useless feathers. At the core of all that deception, though... maybe there's something smaller. Something honest. Something real.
Eh, probably not.
Moreso than anything else, what Sariel values and prides herself on is tireless industriousness and perfectionism. At least, that was once the case. As the head of the entirety of Heaven's media, from its news to its art, Sariel has a massive portfolio of work, put together over the course of billions of years in service of her people and in pursuit of true expression. This work has made her a widely beloved Heavenly icon, one of the most beloved archangels, known best in her role as the airheaded but heroic star of her longest-running fictional work, Crusading Purity Sariel. This isn't the real Sariel, though. The real Sariel is a tired, dry, and sardonic woman, who burnt out after so many years spent working and now entertains herself with constant self-indulgence. Such hedonism is the only escape she has, from the endless stresses and burdens of her life, from the nihilistic despair that plagues her in the face of its ultimate pointlessness. Day after day, Sariel is wracked by emotional turmoil, leaving her bitter, hateful, spiteful, feeling as if she is surrounded by people who will forever misunderstand and underappreciate her. And all she wants to do is express this, somehow, through her art. But she doesn't get to!
Across Heaven, Sariel is known by many faces and many roles, the most famous of these being the perfect image of what every angel should be, the Crusading Purity herself. Everyone knows the Crusading Purity - watching the program is obligatory, at this point! Sariel's starring role in this is so famous, so well-regarded, so universally beloved that it is equated with her true self - and this role is that of a heroic airhead, a ditzy but zealous girl who tirelessly works in support of Heaven's ambitions and goals. She carries out her duties, the Reaping among them, with a passion that all angels desperately strive to emulate, treating her as a hero and idol! And yet, this role is much different from the real deal - in many ways, she's the exact opposite, really. The true Sariel is a dry, quiet, and sardonic woman most interested in her introspective artistic pursuits. She's got a casual, easygoing air, talking to other angels familiarly while maintaining her perpetually calm, seemingly unflappable demeanor. Perhaps it's better described as detachment, an apathy that gives the impression that she lives in a world all her own, so far above and away from the rest. Nothing seems to matter to her. None of it matters. Perhaps the most reaction that anything gets out of her, most of the time, is just an off-handed joke. This sense of humor is one thing Sariel shares with her fictionalized counterpart. She's rarely serious, often cracking jokes of a dark, cynical, and/or sarcastic persuasion. Her subordinates are often the butt of these jokes, as she finds a certain satisfaction in exploiting the straightforward and obliviousness of most angels to make jokes at their expense that fly right over their heads. Not that understanding them would stop her from going at someone. No, she'd only get nastier and nastier, rattling off cruel jokes one after the other, giving the impression that she's just got them prepared and ready to go at all times.
As dull and snarky as she often seems, though, Sariel can quickly flip into a more charming side of herself, as befitting of a charming, high-class lady - she is an actress, after all! She's gotta be able to. She's extemely manipulative and persuasive, a wonderful actress with far too many years of experience, and though it helps that she tends to saturate everything she does with lobotomizing magic, it's not exactly necessary here. When the situation calls for it, Sariel can flip in the opposite direction, too, and get serious, swinging to a professional, grim-faced demeanor. She typically holds onto the dark sense of humor, though. Perfectionistic and agonizingly meticulous, Sariel deeply values hard work and holds herself to extremely high standards. She’s very particular about things she genuinely tries in, accepting nothing but very exact perfection, and those who work with her are well acquainted with this obsessive side of her personality, something that makes her a terror to work under. For years, Sariel worked at a pace that nearly rivaled Mastema’s and was matched only by Gabriel’s, constantly and happily churning out high-quality propaganda. These years were among the best of Sariel’s life, and she remembers them fondly. But those glory years are over. Sariel doesn’t work nearly as hard as she once did, and spends most of her time bathing in self-indulgence, constantly treating herself to luxury and pleasure. She seeks to milk the world of all the pleasure it has to offer, even at the expense of others, exploiting all her power and magic for the sake of her own relief.
Underneath that mostly pleasant, if dry and self-absorbed exterior, is a sea of seething emotional turmoil and despair, one that Sariel wants nothing more than to express - and in lieu of this, escape through pleasure. And because the world is so unjustly cruel to her, she usually has no choice but to go with the latter. Not that she doesn't enjoy it. No, Sariel enjoys it a lot. She especially enjoys torturing those beneath her - which is close to everyone, as far as she's concerned, and she gleefully flexes her magic's power to influence others and force them into all sorts of sadistic, self-indulgent, and otherwise unpleasant ends. For those who fall under her magic's sway, Sariel spares no sympathy, regarding them only with disgust, as pathetic, insignificant lower lifeforms undeserving of the right to think for themselves, and she treats them as such. Of course, she’s also infuriated when her magic doesn’t work as she wants it to, stubbornly believing that those she opposes don’t deserve to think for themselves either, and cursing them for having the gall to even try. Stripping away control from such stubborn individuals is a particular pleasure of hers, something cathartic and righteous. As biased and hateful as close to any other angel, Sariel carries out Heaven's agenda without question, caring not at all for the people she kills - only the art, really, which she loots and takes home while she's at it.
Torture is just an escape, though. It’s not a passion, or anything that Sariel has a genuine emotional attachment to. No, what Sariel truly cares about, more than anything, is art. This is Sariel’s main pastime, and she devotes hours upon hours of her life to working on art, to honing her skills, and to evaluating and exploring new fields that she’s picked up on her travels. All she wants to do is create and express her truest self and thoughts to others, in all their complexity and nuance, but… unfortunately for her, this is not what she was made for. She was made to churn out propaganda, and this is the root of her despair. Sariel is incapable of communicating who she truly is due to the nature of her existence, as well as the fact that her audience lacks the ability to truly interpret any of what she creates. Crusading Purity Sariel has made it even worse, giving everyone the impression that Sariel is a somewhat vapid, stupid, mindlessly upbeat girl - and it infuriates her. The nature of this reality has left Sariel to quietly nurture an immense superiority complex. She views herself as the only true intellectual, the only true artist, in a world of empty heads and hearts, and she hates it. She hates her life, she hates her job, and she hates close to everyone around her on some level. She's alone, stifled and insignificant, and it's destroyed her passion for her job and crippled her workflow. All Sariel does these days is phone it in, really, devoting passion only to those personal projects that won't be ruined by philistines.
It doesn’t help that Mastema’s omnicidal intent will destroy her entire body of work and reduce all her creativity, expression, and passion to less than dust, a fact that has left Sariel overwhelmingly nihilistic and miserable in the face of such a vast and suffocating pointlessness. To her, her life is a prison, a life from which she dreams of escape and release… in death, because anything else would just be asking far too much. There's no point. Even if she tried to escape it herself, even if she tried to find true happiness and relief, Sariel just knows she'd fail, and so she never bothers. This is the only life she's ever known, and even if she hates it, it's a life of influence, luxury, and power, things that she's unwilling to sacrifice for the sake of just a chance at happiness. It’s easier to accept things as they are and use what she has to make her life just a bit more bearable, rather than to challenge the status quo and risk losing it all. Of course, this doesn't stop Sariel from whining and whining about how terrible her life is. Nothing would. The truth is that, underneath it all, Sariel is in love with her own pain, and would perhaps never allow herself to be truly happy or satisfied. The world is not enough. It’ll only ever disappoint her. The only escape she’ll ever have is in fantasy, and ultimately, in complete oblivion.
Powers and Statistics
Tier: At least 3-C, possibly 3-B, higher with Feeding Fear and Hysteria Star. High 3-A, possibly Low 2-C with Asaradel, Varies, up to High 3-A with Crescendo Asaradel
Powers and Abilities:
Genius Intelligence, Master Martial Artist, Cosmic Awareness, Instinctive Reaction, Causality Manipulation, Conceptual Manipulation (Type 3; Sariel's attacks damage opponents on not just a physical level, but a conceptual one as well, and she can control and reprogram inner worlds), Curse Manipulation, Death Manipulation, Fate Manipulation (Her magic affects fate, causing the worst outcomes to materialize for her victims), Fear Manipulation (Can induce fear, panic, and anxiety on a galactic scale and constantly intensify these feelings in her opponents to the point of causing death), Gravity Manipulation (Sariel has her own immensely powerful gravitational field, which she can control), Higher-Dimensional Manipulation (Can manipulate and transmit information through higher spatial dimensions, and create multidimensional constructs), Illusion Manipulation (Can create perfect illusions and even use the most powerful form of illusion, Paracosm Phantasmagoria, which inverts the inner world of a victim to trap them within), Information Manipulation, Law Manipulation (Sariel can break laws, be they physical or magical, and wields her own), Magnetism Manipulation (Sariel has her own immensely powerful magnetic field, which she can control), Mathematics Manipulation (Sariel can alter mathematics and how math affects the world through World Operation), Mind Manipulation (Sariel's specialty, operating through thousands of different vectors), Pain Manipulation (Her attacks cause "true", spiritual pain, affecting even those who cannot feel pain normally), Perception Manipulation (With Eight Ends, Sariel can nullify and erase senses. Within her inner world, she can also control and adjust an enemy's perception as if she were adjusting a shot), Physics Manipulation (Sariel can alter and control the laws of physics), Plot Manipulation (Sariel's inner world is a manifestation of her personal narrative and, one activated, allows her to impose and control this narrative), Pocket Reality Manipulation (She can materialize and control her inner world as a pocket dimension), Probability Manipulation, Quantum Manipulation, Size Manipulation (Sariel can control the dimensions of objects and beings, potentially compacting them down to the Planck scale), Sleep Manipulation, Soul Manipulation (All her attacks, physical or magical, affect the soul just as they do the body, and through Inner World Operation, she can control and reprogram souls, even inner worlds), Sound Manipulation (Sariel's law, Asaradel, emits a special sort of magical frequency, similar to sound, to impose effects), Spatial Manipulation, Time Manipulation, Absorption (Angels can use their wings to absorb magic and energy, and she can energize and heal herself by absorbing the fear and negative emotions of others), Attack Reflection (Sariel can redirect the force of attacks used against her, turning her opponents' strength against them), Danmaku, Dimensional Travel, Duplication (Can manifest one double of herself within her inner world), Immersion (Sariel's inner world is essentially a fictional locale, ultimately making all those within little more than works of fiction), Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial; Sariel is made out of magic and is immune to conventional physical harm), Invisibility (When using Synchronize Self, Sariel is able to elude even the universe's notice, rendering physical senses completely useless and easily fooling magical senses), Portal Creation, Power Modification (Inner World Operators can affect the spiritual root of another agent's abilities, changing how their inner world expresses itself), Power Nullification (Her inner world cuts off all attempts at escape, rendering teleportation and other transdimensional attempts at movement useless. Paracosm Phantasmagoria can also prevent the use of magic. Inside inner worlds, ego pressure takes reality pressure's place, fighting against and eventually reversing the effects of opposing magic), Limited Precognition (Thanks to her own exceptional instincts and experience with Logos, Sariel can react to multitudes of attacks delivered through its use before any of them happen), Sealing (She can within their own inner worlds by inverting their souls, or within her own inner world through prolonged exposure), Shapeshifting, Statistics Amplification (By using Feeding Fear to draw fear from others, Sariel can increase her own power, and she can boost her spells' offensive power with Offensive Permutation), Summoning, Telekinesis, Telepathy, Teleportation, Immortality (Types 1 and 3), Regeneration (Mid-Godly; can regenerate from just her inner world, the abstract, conceptual basis of her soul)
Magic (The magic used by agents is a process of making their Fantasy into Reality), Extrasensory Perception (Agents maintain a constant, perfect, and precise image of their surroundings by analyzing them through magic), Self-Sustenance (Types 1, 2, and 3; vital processes such as breathing, drinking, eating, and sleeping are alien and unnecessary for angels), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Forcefield Creation, Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects), Damage Transferal (Agents can perform "grounding", which allows them to mirror harm to an opponent's body on their soul, as well as exploit similar connections to damage similar sources, such as a phylactery), Non-Physical Interaction (An agent can interact with immaterial or incorporeal entities, such as ghosts, as well as things that don't exist), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant. In addition, Mutation programs run in the background of Sariel's soul, causing beneficial mutations in her attacks, allowing them to slip through adaptive defenses and specialized counters), Reality Warping with Override Sigils (Override Sigils can be used to overwrite the laws of physics), Resistance Negation (Agents can pierce magical defenses, even spiritual filters, to enact the adverse effects of their attacks and spells, fully stripping said resistances away if given the chance), Statistics Amplification (Sariel is typically in a light ego trance by default, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, even moreso during particularly intense moments, when she acts in a manner true to her inner world), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities)
Attack Potency: At least Galaxy level+ (Comparable to her fellow archangels - Abaddon, Uriel, Jophiel, and Raphael. Superior to Gabriel and a recently unsealed Lucifer, who are themselves much stronger than the likes of Beelzebub and Logos), possibly Multi-Galaxy level (To reach Uriel's level of power, Lucifer had to use Judecca Rex, multiplying her power several times over. Sariel could also potentially destroy the entirety of Tartarus' physical structure, when someone on Logos' level would struggle to cause damage visible from its surface), higher with Feeding Fear (Boosts Sariel's power significantly, putting her above formerly equal foes by a substantial but not insurmountable margin) and Hysteria Star (One of Sariel's Hysteria Stars carries similar power to a Feeding Fear boost when thrown, and even more when she's boosted by Feeding Fear already). High Universe level, possibly Universe level+ with Asaradel (While not as strong as Yaldabaoth's Sefirot, Asaradel is on a similar level of power due to its status as a natural law, though its effects are more hax than straightforwardly destructive), Varies, up to High Universe level with Crescendo Asaradel (Crescendo Asaradel's power fluctuates based on what its target expects from the attack, and Sariel uses her magic to raise these expectations as high as possible).
Speed: Massively FTL+ (Sariel can rapidly fly across large stretches of Heaven, a universe, and is comparable to Raphael, who can intercept attacks delivered from a Planck length away), higher with Feeding Fear.
Striking Strength: At least Galactic Class+, possibly Multi-Galactic (While not quite as strong as Abaddon or Uriel, she's a peer and can badly injure Judecca Rex Lucifer with her attacks).
Durability: At least Galaxy level+, possibly Multi-Galaxy level (Can take blows from Uriel and Judecca Rex Lucifer and keep on fighting).
Stamina: Limitless. Due to her Fruit of Life, Sariel is supplied with what is an infinite source of magical energy, allowing her to fight indefinitely, though her stamina may suffer if her soul is extremely badly wounded, something that is extremely difficult to accomplish. Even when badly injured, Sariel is of stubborn stock and won't go down easily, fighting on through severe injuries, until she's left with on death's door, with no option but to stop fighting.
Range: Standard melee range with normal melee attacks, Universal (Sariel can magically attack any point in Heaven from anywhere else in Heaven, even manipulating Yesod across such distances, and she can easily obliterate galaxies and cover intergalactic distances with her attacks) to Interdimensional with magic (Sariel can reach into other universes, interacting with and attacking things inside them without leaving Heaven, and she can also telepathically communicate or teleport such distances).
Standard Equipment: Her law, Asaradel.
Intelligence: Extraordinary Genius. As with the rest of her siblings, Sariel is an exceptional agent gifted with innate abilities far above those of much of the competition - a born genius meant to excel in her fields of art and hypnotic magic. The latter is her magical specialty, something she's worked on and refined over the course of her extremely long lifespan, diversifying her tools and devising thousands upon thousands of unique mind control vectors, many of them operating completely differently from another, to get around any defenses. Even her law, Asaradel, has been subject to modification and adjustments by the perfectionist Sariel, developing greater and greater functions beyond what it was initially capable of. She's also a wonderful actress and manipulator, skills befitting her position and role in angelic society, supporting her deadly cocktail of lobotomizing magic with simple charm and an underhanded cunning. Sariel never fights fair, and often doesn't fight at all, using her abilities to turn an opponent's allies against them, often 'recruiting' these former enemies shortly afterwards and using them to her own advantage. But she's great in a fight, too, even without taking her magic into account, showcasing a surprising level of skill in Logos for a magic specialist. She always had a knack for it, and this shows, as she is now one of Heaven's greatest users of the art, primarily fighting unarmed and using her law for supportive purposes.
Weaknesses: Scenarist Subcon needs time to ramp up to its full power.
Agency: A mage is more properly known as an agent, as in “one that acts or exerts power”. Separated from the rest of the cosmos, an agent is essentially a miniature universe all their own, with complete control over their destiny, free to pursue whatever future they wish. They do this through magic, the art of using one’s understanding to control Fantasy, the stuff of sheer willpower and imagination.
- Radar: An agent’s magical abilities passively sustain a constant 360° image of their surroundings, which is projected straight to their mind for processing. This radar is far more reliable than conventional senses, and cannot be easily fooled by tricks that would trip up any normal human. In the hands of a powerful enough agent, it can even track superluminal movements. It constantly operates at the agent’s maximum processing speed, even when such things would normally be restricted to allow for normal, everyday life.
- Spiritual Filter: A magical barrier that protects the user from external manipulation and attack, on every level of existence. A spiritual filter protects the user’s body, mind, and soul - their cells and atoms, the magical and physical forces keeping them together, and everything else. It is akin to a magical immune system, protecting the agent from threats and adapting to future attack.It passively protects the user from most types of attack, manipulation, and control, as long as the barrier is strong enough - an agent of substantially greater power can punch straight through one. A spiritual filter is passively maintained at all times, even in sleep, requiring no energy to maintain, and can only be removed by a stronger agent actively stripping it away, or by the user consciously lowering them.A spiritual filter is the evolved form of the soul’s original protective layer, refined through the usage of and exposure to magic.
Sacred Program: Sariel is an angel, a fluctuation devised by Yaldabaoth to carry out her will, fashioned from stardust and a fraction of her willpower. Similar in nature to star spirits, angels are essentially magical consciousnesses, simply a soul, a halo, and nothing else. Any body they may manifest is composed of metamatter, not regular matter, a sort of condensed willpower. Their bodies are malleable things determined by not just their own thoughts, but those of others as well. This unique composition means that angels do not interact normally with ordinary physical matter.
Of course, Sariel is no mere angel. She is an archangel, the fourth, created to bring salvation to the world. The Archangel of Truth, Sariel has her own host of gifts, having been created to carry out a certain holy task. In fact, she is this holy task - a sacred program meant to execute a certain function, a duty she cannot stray from. This digital determinism is the root of her whole self, the source of everything she is and everything she has.
- Fruit of Life: Like the rest of her siblings, Sariel possesses the magical organ known as a Fruit of Life, a magical core created by Yaldabaoth for her own use. For the archangels and their creator, the Fruit of Life acts as a stellar core, a mass of magic and plasma smaller and denser than a neutron star, the size of a fist. It supplies Sariel with an infinite amount of magical energy, synthesized from the infinite potential released by the Big Bang that created Heaven, along with an extremely powerful magnetic and gravitational field subject to her own control.Granting not only raw energy, a Fruit of Life also provides a substantial boost to computation. More than a mere mass of energy, it is a high-power, multi-dimensional processing unit that calculates and transfers information through higher dimensions. While Fruits of Life are certainly important, as the pinnacles of Heavenly magic, science, and power, losing one is no issue for any archangel, and Sariel can regenerate her Fruit of Life easily.
- Halo: The halo of an angel is actually a complex Override Sigil, passively maintained without draining any energy. A halo has multiple functions in maintaining an angel’s existence and safety.
- Angelic Data: A halo contains the magical information that makes up an angel’s existence (typically referred to as just “data”). Through this, an angel can regenerate from any scale of physical wounds through their halo, even complete physical destruction.As a halo is a magical construct, no amount of conventional physical harm can damage it, and even directly attacking it with magic can be difficult. If an angel’s halo is shattered, it will immediately and passively reconstruct itself; when an angel is actually killed, the halo will shatter and finally disappear.
- Fear Not: An angel’s true nature and form is obscured by magic under normal circumstances, so an angel normally seems to be an individual of the viewer’s species, though their exact appearance is still up to them. In addition, they are normally clearly angelic, with the halo and wings representative of angels.
- Messenger: Angels can communicate telepathically regardless of language barriers and transmit information across transdimensional distances, partly through their connection to Yesod. They can also teleport such distances and open portals to other worlds. This allows them to leave Heaven and travel across other universes.
- Protection from Harm: A halo protects its bearer from offensive magic of all varieties, including those that seek to warp or manipulate them through other means. It is particularly effective in protecting against the corrupting influence of demons.
- Wings: The wings of an angel are special, unique constructs formed out of magic, and are used to direct and manipulate magical energies as limbs. They can even absorb magic and other energy with ease. The wings are the most sensitive and important part of an angel’s body, and they are carefully maintained at all times.
Idolatrize Trance: A magic that focuses entirely on controlling others’ thoughts and actions through a variety of vectors, the sadistic and demanding Sariel’s specialty. It’s her signature magic, widely used among the Heavenly Press in emulation of its leader, who developed and honed the magic over years of hard work, calling on both her hypnotic law and her inner world to master the art she made herself. Naturally, of all Heaven’s Trance Idols, Sariel is by far the best, utilizing incredibly complex forms of mind control that operate through various vectors with ease. For Sariel, this is a magic that manifests itself through her very existence and through her every action, impossibly.
Sariel’s mind control does not depend on merely a single method of transmission; instead, she applies it through multiple vectors at once. These vectors combine sheer force of will with overt and covert magical manipulation, directly targeting inner worlds to alter a victim’s thoughts and change their identity, while using subliminal messages and curse daemons for more subtle changes. All of these varying means are applied in high numbers, and Sariel often attacks opponents with thousands of unique vectors at once. If even one gets through, it’ll just open backdoors for the rest to exploit. But all she needs to control someone is a single vector, no backdoors necessary. The most powerful of all of these vectors, which she constantly improves upon and diversifies, is her natural law, Asaradel. Once she’s gotten through, Sariel can make a victim do more or less anything, and is one of those rare few who can completely override agency, wholly shutting out a victim’s true consciousness.
From that point on, Sariel is the one calling the shots, and she can make her new toy turn on allies, divulge information, forget their former life and accept new falsified memories instead, fall in love with her, destroy their own minds and degrade into placid, thoughtless obedience, kill themselves, and even change their personality so utterly that they’d rewrite their inner world, on top of pretty much anything else. However, completely rewriting an inner world is very difficult for her, best done through subliminal messaging rather than forcing it directly due to any given agent’s instincts for self-preservation, and Sariel might end up needing to use Asaradel or her inner world for it anyways. Not like something like that would ever be absolutely necessary. Besides, smaller modifications work just fine.
Against opponents who can muster up the willpower to resist, Sariel can still exercise some degree of control, such as manifesting perfect illusions, telling them they’ve been harmed when they’re fine, tilting their mind in a certain direction, and inserting generally bad ideas. The more time she has, though, the more control she can exert. Someone who she’s controlled in the past is more susceptible to her hypnosis in the future, as backdoors and ‘trigger’ programs still exist unless actively dealt with - and only a very good Inner World Operator with a knack for healing could fully repair what Sariel does to a soul. Given some time and effort, Sariel can even begin to sink her claws into base reality, distorting mathematical truths through subliminal suggestion.
- Dreamer’s Reverie: Sariel can turn Idolatrize Trance’s effects onto herself, seizing complete control of her own mind to trigger a hypnotic trance and bring her subconscious to the forefront. In this state, Sariel is highly susceptible to her own suggestion, and she can alter her soul and inner world as she pleases, something similar to the process of editing a film from her perspective. She often uses it to convince herself that she wasn’t hurt when she was, causing injuries to simply vanish in accordance with this interpretation. This is aided and partially automated by sets of subconscious thought programs.On top of the incredible degree of self-control this allows for, Sariel’s altered state of consciousness makes her even more compatible with Logos than usual, resulting in a significant boost to her instincts and skill. The resulting Sariel is close in skill to her elder siblings, those that specialize in combat, and certainly capable of giving them a good fight, even if she’s not an equal.
- Mutual Delusion: Using Asaradel and Idolatrize Trance, together with Dreamer’s Reverie, Sariel can synchronize her opponent with her own self-suggestion, aligning their perspective a little bit and forcing them to be a bit more receptive to her ‘interpretation’ of reality. This allows her to affect their actions and their consequences, not only erasing injuries, but retconning away the attacks in the first place and convincing her victim of various other falsehoods.When active, Sariel also gets a better grasp of her opponent’s motions, allowing her to react better with Luminous Fist. Using this is somewhat risky, as the connection can potentially be used against Sariel by a similarly skilled, if not superior Inner World Operator. Sariel has to be careful with when and how she uses it, often forcing her to use it for only short periods of time, on and off.
- Subliminal Premonition: Thanks to their malicious and powerful nature, Sariel’s inner world and law both show through in any form she may take, providing a sort of weaponized forecast regarding what anyone nearby is gonna have to deal with. A twitch is ripe with subliminal meaning that any agent will pick up on, and a deliberate gesture is enough to make someone’s subconscious think they’re being told to kill themselves, a request they will kindly oblige with spiritual self-destruction.Any sensory interaction will run over countless subliminal messages woven into Sariel’s entire being, sure to force those unprepared for it into submission without her needing to try at all. Sariel typically mutes this effect a little so as to not mentally destroy her employees, but in a fight she lets it all out. In this natural state, Sariel is a walking cognitohazard, with complete control over each and every effect she tends to have on others. Trying to analyze her is a particularly bad idea, as it will just expose her victim to her mind control directly.
- Paracosm Phantasmagoria: The pinnacle of hallucinatory magic, an illusion that inverts the inner world rather than merely fool around with any of its target’s conventional senses. This draws them into their own consciousness and traps them within, a combination of an illusion and seal, allowing Sariel to peruse their memories or put them out of their misery. As long as the spell is active, the victim is subject to a perfect illusion that can draw upon all their thoughts, memories, wishes, and fears to replicate the outside world.Sariel has complete control of the specifics; her illusions can be complex, realistic, and subtle, acting over the course of what feels like lifetimes, or nightmarish, seemingly impossible fever dreams. She can make victims relive parts of their lives, or potentially the whole thing, show other possible outcomes, create completely false scenarios, control their actions and force them to follow an unpleasant “script”, or concoct various scenes that acknowledge their unreality but subject the victim to perfectly lifelike torture anyways. She can alter their perception of time during this illusion as well, making them experience what is just moments in reality as years upon years of falsehoods.Even if her victim knows it’s an illusion, breaking out without outside help is so difficult that it’s nearly impossible. Magic can be barred by Sariel with ease, and she can control any magic that she lets through anyways. Analyzing the spell while under its effects is extremely challenging, and Sariel can stomp out such thoughts anyways. If her opponent does escape the illusion, they are likely to unknowingly be caught in another layer, of which there are millions in Sariel’s case.As these illusions are realized within the inner world of a victim, the fundamental, conceptual basis of their existence, their effects are reflected in full force on both their body and soul. While normal illusions can harm the victim through shock or suggestion, Paracosm Phantasmagoria can do so outright and can kill them with ease. All the energy needed for the illusion is derived from the victim themself, and the strain of this alone can be lethal.
Nightmare Reader: A magic that can be used to manifest the fears of a target as reality, a magic used by Sariel to torment her victims and drive them to their breaking points. For the sadistic Sariel, someone close in nature to her best friend and older sister, Uriel, the original Nightmare Reader, this is a magic that manifests itself through her very existence, with every nightmare and every fear acting as an extension of her own soul. These extremely accurate replications are created using any information Sariel can get her hands on, even if it’s by prying it out of an opponent’s soul.
While anyone would feel some measure of fear when confronted with their worst nightmares, the nature of Sariel’s magic, combined with her skill in manipulation, supernaturally magnifies this fear. Within these constructs, negative futures and undesired outcomes are visible, seeming more and more real the more someone looks at them. The deeper they fall into fear, the more monstrous and powerful these nightmares become, ultimately growing so powerful that they can kill from shock alone. In Sariel’s case, her magic can compel a victim to simply will themself to death in an attempt to escape their fears, resulting in the collapse of their inner world.
Sariel can even shroud herself in her opponent’s fears, allowing them to seep into her soul so that she can best embody them and become a living nightmare. With this level of skill, even abstract fears can be manifested as conceptual curses that aim to realize them, dooming those that fear death to have it creep up on them.
- Feeding Fear: Sariel can draw upon the fear felt by her opponents and all others around her, friend or foe, to increase her own power, replenish her stamina, and heal severe wounds, feeding upon these negative emotions and using them to sustain her own existence. This is always a useful tool, but it becomes increasingly dangerous as Sariel’s victim slips deeper and deeper into complete horror, causing their anxieties to intensify the more Sariel feeds. The magic leaves opponents weaker and weaker, and can even potentially kill them, allowing Sariel to completely consume their soul.As an archangel, Sariel is the subject of a level of fear that most people could never imagine, and by simply linking herself to Yesod, she can feed on this fear with her sister’s magic. This grants her an unusually immense boost in power and can turn a battle around in dire straits, though it’s not nearly as impressive as Uriel’s.
- Hysteria Star: Making use of Feeding Fear to harvest energy on a massive scale, Sariel manifests an immense sphere made up of compounded anxieties and fears. Like a sun, this malicious star hangs over the battlefield, awakening uncontrollable panic and terror in all touched by its crimson light, an influence that can throw entire worlds into complete madness and chaos.Sariel, along with all her fellow Nightmare Readers, instead benefit from the presence of a Hysteria Star, bathing in its rays, which amplify their abilities. Rather than simply let one linger, Sariel can choose to launch it at an opponent as if it were a bomb, leaving anything in its path to be eaten up by anxiety and completely erased. Alternatively, she can use Feeding Fear to consume her own Hysteria Star, greatly boosting her own capabilities and bringing herself back from the brink of death in a pinch.
- Hunting Horror: Sariel forces the laws of nature back onto her victim, causing the limitations of their body to catch up with them - the need to breathe, the weakness of their original eyes, and all the other shortcomings of their body. Meanwhile, her illusions continue to harass them, and more are birthed from the anxieties triggered by their target’s failing, inconsistent body, growing stronger and stronger the worse it gets.
- Phobic Parasite: Sariel can implant parasitic fears into an opponent’s soul, manifesting them as personal illusions that prey on their host’s traumas and shortcomings. They appear only to their victim, constantly tormenting them over the course of much longer than a single fight, all while draining their life and their very will to live. An individual can host many of these fears at once, but, eventually, if not properly dealt with, the parasites will reduce them to a husk and kill them.
- Traumatic Aggravation: Using Nightmare Reader, Sariel sinks her claws into her opponent and worsens every affliction they’re currently suffering. Fresh wounds are torn open deeper and wider, setting back attempts to heal them, and even what only remains as faded scars can suddenly split back open. Other issues, such as curses, will also get worse, as well any mental issues, making Sariel’s torturous illusions and mind control even more effective and potentially throwing a victim into a fatal state of disarray. Following up Heartbreak Trigger’s use with this is a particularly potent application that generally makes for a killing blow.
- Heartbreak Trigger: One of Sariel’s most powerful abilities, a spell that, in most situations, will net a certain kill in the most horrific of ways, but one that can only be used under certain conditions. Sariel must reach deep into her opponent’s soul to use this magic, and forcibly dredge up the deep, buried memories within them, to remind them how low they once were.Each injury and all trauma that remains recorded by their soul is materialized on Sariel’s opponent at once. Even something as little as a papercut returns to split the skin, slicing even the soul, and even if the victim may have forgotten or repressed some wounds, the soul remembers unless they have completely wiped it away. While all these physical and spiritual wounds can be crippling, the real kicker is the trauma itself. Any injury associated with trauma brings with it the memories, in pristine detail, every sensation and feeling. For those who have lived hard lives, every traumatic experience seems to happen at once.Most opponents would die instantly just from the shock and harm of their wounds returning, but the resurgence of trauma digs it in deeper, with all but the strongest-willed buckling under the weight, driven into a suicidal despair and horror so intense that their injuries are irrelevant. After all, they simply will themselves to death.
Inner World Operation: The pinnacle of spiritual magic — the art of inner world programming, and the manipulation of the soul itself, in all its constituents. Rather than a cohesive, established system, Inner World Operation is spiritual magic of the highest caliber, and encompasses all lesser disciplines and systems.
Information processing, the manifestation of dreams and illusions, the growth of a person and their soul, the art of psychic manipulation, psychological analysis, and either repairing or reaping the soul are all available to a true Inner World Operator, and all can eventually lead to this result, but this level of magic is far greater and more complex than just the psychic laws we know. An Inner World Operator can quickly adapt to alien souls and the unfamiliar ideas they abide by, or even those souls that don't exist, controlling them in the same way, and in time, it ventures deeper into the territory of magic, to a realm unbound by all conventional law and science.
When it comes to handling souls, Sariel’s knowledge is somewhat specialized and focused on controlling others through various means, affecting their inner world rather than simply trying to seize their body or consciousness. With that said, she’s certainly more than competent in other branches of the art, having developed some understanding of soul surgery outside of her specialty.
- Decompression Bomb: A malicious, subtle curse program that, when analyzed or decompressed, reveals itself to be containing a ridiculous amount of useless information. So much, in fact, that the sheer amount of processing power needed can cause the soul to freeze up. Even worse, when injected into a soul, the bomb’s ‘detonation’ can completely overwrite its host’s inner world, killing them.While perfectly usable as attacks, these bombs are best utilized as traps meant to catch anyone who tries to analyze Sariel’s soul or spells, causing their software to hang and leaving them vulnerable to counterattack. Sariel’s decompression bombs are incredibly sophisticated, built to foil attempts at detecting and avoiding them before it’s too late. At which point they mentally compel victims to try and complete the process anyways, rather than try and back out to avoid the consequences.
- Defensive Permutation: By rapidly rearranging the contents of her soul, Sariel modifies vital spiritual components to avoid incoming attacks and minimize the damage taken. While Sariel can do this very swiftly, different attacks will require different defensive measures and permutations depending on their properties and where they're coming from, and she can thus be overwhelmed or caught by surprise.
- Ego Compress: Sariel can intensify the ego pressure her soul emits, allowing it to reassert her personal reality more easily, heal faster, and prevent attempts at soul manipulation.It can also more violently counter such attempts if Sariel suddenly ramps up the pressure just as an opponent reaches inside. This will likely sever, if not completely annihilate, a portion of the invader’s consciousness, whichever bit got cut off inside. It can potentially even destroy physical things, such as limbs and weapons, if it catches them.
- Identity Corrosion: Sariel can sabotage her target’s inner world to make it just a bit more unhealthy. In mild cases, this can just make things less efficient, not as powerful, and/or more difficult. If given a chance, though, Sariel can produce more severe complications, such as a self-destructive streak that leads to spiritual backlash from spell use. Of course, this negatively impacts the victim’s mentality no matter what, which can in itself be the deciding factor of a fight.
- Offensive Permutation: By rapidly rearranging the contents of her soul, Sariel modifies spiritual components to optimize the potency of her next attack or series of attacks. While this new offensive configuration can be sustained for longer periods of time, it comes at the expense of defenses and other processes, and is thus best activated when needed and deactivated when not for the sake of versatility.
- Personal History Falsification: By altering a person’s complete individual concept, Sariel can insert actions and events into their past or future. This is most often used to manifest successful maneuvers on her part, introducing them as an immutable fate from either the past or future, or to retcon certain unpreferable events after they’ve already happened.With this ability, Sariel can potentially significantly change inner worlds, though this takes quite the investment of time and energy and isn’t usually all that worth it. Sariel is better off using her inner world to do so, anyways.
World Operation: The pinnacle of physical magic — the art of world programming, and the manipulation of the universe itself, in all its constituents. Rather than a cohesive, established system, World Operation is physical magic of the highest caliber, and encompasses all lesser disciplines and systems.
Information processing, judication, probability alteration, quantum alchemy, spatial magic, and temporal manipulation alike are all available to a true World Operator, and all can eventually lead to this result, but this level of magic is far greater and more complex than just the physics we know. A World Operator can quickly adapt to alien laws and physics, controlling them in the same way, and in time, it ventures deeper into the territory of magic, to a realm unbound by all conventional law and science.
As an archangel, Sariel was programmed with a wealth of knowledge on the physical universe and how it functions, making her a natural World Operator. Over the years since her creation, Sariel has only become more knowledgeable in its use.
- Dimensional Sequester: Sariel lashes out at the universe around her with stunning precision, severing spatiotemporal bonds to separate a chunk of reality from the rest. This is all to trap an opponent and force a fight, as escape through physical means is impossible, and Sariel can adjust things to prevent transdimensional teleportation as well.
- Fall: As the Archangel of Truth, Sariel can, with the utmost of ease, strip an angel of their halo and wings, resulting in their Fall from Heaven, into the form of a fallen angel.
- Phase Shift: Sariel operates on surrounding space to compact, introduce, and/or remove dimensions, allowing her to vastly expand her field of movement while limiting her opponents’. Through this, Sariel can control her own dimensional structure, taking on new dimensions to move in a variety of impossible ways and attack from many newly-formed angles at once, while shedding them to avoid retaliation.This also inhibits her opponents, as Sariel can divert their attacks to other dimensions, and she can even collapse these dimensions to shrink things down to the Planck scale. Or she could simply erase them and leave nothing behind.
- System Administrator: Sariel’s position as an archangel allows her to easily interface with and even control the universal cloud of data, information, and angelic thoughts that is Yesod. In Heaven, Yesod connects to all computers and angels and acts as the foundation for their communications system, almost like a hive mind that all angels instinctively use to communicate and share information. It functions on a multi-dimensional scale, with higher-ranking, more secretive channels existing on different frequencies and dimensions.Due to her intelligence, authority, and knowledge of Yesod’s systems, Sariel has access to most of Yesod’s communication channels, and can use them to enter into and read the minds of nearly any angel in Heaven, to gather information and keep tabs on her underlings. Sariel can even move through Yesod, transmitting herself across its multiple dimensions and controlling her own dimensional structure. Notably, her propaganda is regularly aired on Yesod, spreading the effects of her law to anyone unfortunate enough to tune in, and tuning in is usually required.Yesod can also be used as a foundation for World Operation, as it is integrated into Heaven’s base reality and can thus be programmed to reprogram and manipulate parts of Heaven. While Sariel can use Yesod as a medium for many of her powers, she does not need it to do so and can easily manipulate similar networks and clouds in the same way.
Logos: Logos is a heavenly martial art, system of magic, and philosophy developed by Yaldabaoth and spread throughout Heaven, revolving around the act of self-sacrifice in pursuit of mastery of the self. By accepting their own irrelevance, the user clears their mind and soul of all distractions, letting go of emotion and identity for a time to allow for better focus on the tasks at hand. This makes it difficult for angels to form stable identities and properly process emotions, and as they generally lack strong identities and emotions by default, angels are naturally well-suited to the use of Logos, the foundation of which is programmed into their souls, acting as an instinctive fallback.
This dismissal of the self allows for the use of a variety of techniques, many of them relevant in their own ways to the self-destructive intricacies of Heavenly philosophy. This includes utilizing one's supernaturally amplified focus to make use of pure magic more easily, one of the most characteristic applications of Logos, as well as various techniques useful in things like assassination, awareness, instinctual movement, and stealth. Its use is universal among angels, but it's most associated with and typically best utilized by the missionaries and monks of the Heavenly Mercy, who treat its use as a form of prayer.
Sariel always had a knack for Logos, with the mindset and industrious willpower needed to push her technique further and further, quickly becoming one of Heaven’s greatest users of the art. She tends to eschew straightforward weapons in favor of mixing unarmed combat with the use of Logos, weaving it into her fights and applying its effects to her magic with ease. The brutal, bare-handed violence that Sariel invariably brings to a fight is often a surprise to those who believe her to be an indirect combatant who relies on magic and manipulation rather than skill.
- Eight Ends: A technique that uses Logos’ harmful effects to disable an opponent’s senses and leave them helpless, channeled through Sariel’s attacks. The senses it deactivates are not limited to the five senses of the body, and include a target’s memories and self-awareness, even their ideation, their very consciousness itself. After all, agents rely on magical sensing and their own thoughts more than their conventional five senses, so a magic limited to these things would be useless on this level.The deactivation of all an opponent’s senses leads to a comatose state that leaves them incapable of acting and thinking, though agents with powerful defenses can resist these effects. Notably, those with great skill in Logos, highly developed souls, and/or extraordinary willpower can act unconsciously in such a state, relying on muscle memory and instinct alone. Few opponents are competent like this. In the end, however, the true power of Eight Ends is not deactivating senses, but destroying them, with the ultimate goal being to completely destroy an opponent by erasing their consciousness and sense of self.
- Kinesis Circuit: A defensive technique popular among angels, which Sariel can use to transmit the energy of any attack directed at her through her soul and back to the sender with 100% efficiency. Doing so requires perfect precision and subtlety, and the technique can be thrown off entirely by the slightest miscalculation, allowing damage to slip through. It is also vulnerable to more subtle and abstract forms of attack, such as Inner World Operation.
- Synchronize Self: Using Logos, Sariel can humbly minimize her own ego, identity, and presence to such an extreme degree that she fades from all senses. As every sign of Sariel’s existence vanishes, the universe itself fails to notice her presence, and she becomes completely intangible and invisible, eluding magical senses while moving so subtly that not even matter reacts. In this state, she can move around as much as she wants, but attacking will weaken the effect and make her presence more apparent, though it won’t completely blow her cover.
- Vigilant Aeon: A meditation art used by angelic leaders for the sake of observing and guiding large groups of angels, particularly during battles. By concentrating and entering a meditative state, Sariel can cast her awareness across a cosmic distance, even into other realms, observing events so accurately it’s as if she’s actually there.
- Will Unclouded: The most famous and characteristic application of Logos. By attaining supernatural levels of focus through self-sacrifice, Sariel can make use of pure magic much more easily than most agents, simply willing results into existence. Thanks to this ability, Logos users can tap into pure magic more often and reliably than other agents, but it’s still not the easiest thing in the world.When combined with more typical magic, these purely magical attacks can be very difficult to account for and defend against in combat. However, as a result of dealing with this for so long, Sariel and other experienced Logos users have a sort of instinctive grasp of how it'll be used in fights, allowing them to predict and defend against these attacks much more reliably.
- Luminous Fist: The existence of those who have truly mastered Logos and reached a level that not even Yaldabaoth reached in life - the transcendence of thought and action. At this level, Sariel does not stand on the level of other, lesser martial artists or agents, but stands above, with a pure, thoughtless consciousness that cannot be clouded by indecision, fear, or confusion. It is not something that has to be activated and automatically comes into play once she starts fighting.In combat, Sariel has no need for conscious thought or intentions as not just their body, but all of their existence, acts on their supernatural instinct. As opposed to thinking out her movements, Sariel subconsciously takes in all of her opponent’s actions and unconsciously reacts. This allows her to easily intuit the perfect way to dodge every attack and how to respond. At this level, thoughts are only an accessory to martial arts, and are unnecessary to show the full extent of one’s skill.Though this state can be described as “thoughtless”, Sariel is still thinking while using the ability, just extremely quickly and without being disturbed by any mental defilement. She remains fully capable of analyzing opponents and their abilities, processing large amounts of information, and performing complex calculations. These things actually become even easier than before due to her absolute unconscious focus. However, it does not make her consciousness superfluous, and can potentially be disturbed by a strong enough attack on her mind.
Asaradel: Sariel’s weapon of choice, a shapeshifting device with an inconsistent form, which most often appears as a simple dynamic microphone, of all things. It is much more than this, however - it is an incarnated law, the law of conformity, induction, and unity. Its form varies depending on the situation, appearing as a cute animal companion, instruments, a winged sceptre, and, in certain violent fights, a seemingly endless whip or chain. While these manifestations may at times make it seem like anything but a dangerous weapon, Asaradel is an extremely powerful law with potent effects. Its information is stored in Sariel's soul, so even if Asaradel is destroyed, she can rematerialize it instantly.
No matter the form, Asaradel remains a law, an incarnated concept that embodies ideas of conformity and induction. It is, by far, Sariel’s most powerful form of mind control. Asaradel works by transmitting a special sort of ‘frequency’, which travels at superluminal speeds and which can be instantly applied with Logos. This frequency resonates with a target’s inner world, making them subconsciously more receptive to Sariel’s influence without realizing it, and simultaneously putting them under her spell. At this point, Sariel can do a number of things, but Asaradel has its own effects that are inherent to its nature, so long as she plays the normal frequency. This original frequency is one that forces the inner world to regress through subliminal messaging.
Any victim will have their identity rolled back a little, reverting changes in personality and leaving them susceptible to further control. Independence is stamped out, and thoughts are simplified, but not to the point of stupidity, just obedience. Applied constantly by Sariel’s propaganda, which plays across Yesod, Asaradel keeps angels from growing to the point that controlling them may become more difficult, and it leaves behind a whole lot of curse programs to maintain and monitor its effects. This network of programs leaves victims addicted to Asaradel’s effects, constantly faintly hearing Sariel’s music in the back of their head, and includes several ‘trigger’ programs that can be activated by certain frequencies, leading to different results.
Even after Falling and becoming demons, many of these programs remain in victims, notably the disguised triggers, which Sariel will happily use against former angels to control them once again. Asaradel has many more frequencies than this, however, due to Sariel’s penchant for hard work and innovations. Now, she can use Asaradel in a number of other specific ways, on top of improvising on the spot, preparing quite the variety of unique frequencies and songs. Thanks to Sariel’s industrious nature, her law is one of the most versatile in existence.
- Crescendo Asaradel: Sariel’s most powerful song, and a trump card, which she uses when necessary, with more than a bit of dramatic flair, typically transforming Asaradel into its sceptre form. Then, she begins charging up an attack, making it clear that it’s the most powerful one she’s got… all while the song itself builds it up and subliminally convinces her opponent that she can kill them with the Crescendo in one shot.This is vital. To use this, Sariel needs to establish a link with one of Asaradel’s trigger programs, and she exploits it here and now. As her target’s fears and expectations for the attack grow, more and more, Crescendo Asaradel feeds off them. It’ll take on every beneficial trait they imagine it having, and will grow in strength to match what they believe it’ll be. And as Sariel ramps up her mental attacks, in the ideal situation, it’ll begin to feel like an insurmountable blow that will kill no matter what, an attack of literally infinite power.And that’s what Sariel’s target will get. A single attack powered by suggestion, which will almost certainly hit and completely annihilate them, especially because Sariel will be sure to convince them that Crescendo Asaradel can control fate and determine the future. If someone figures out how Crescendo Asaradel works and manages to resist its effects, it’ll still hit quite hard, and it definitely won’t be any weaker than Sariel, no matter how much they try to convince themselves that it’ll be a pathetic attack.
Scenarist Subcon: The twisted foundation of Sariel’s equally twisted soul, her inner world, which stands only for the complete domination of everyone unfortunate enough to face her. It is essentially her script, a screenplay that lays out her divine purpose and all of her duties in painstaking detail, and Sariel, naturally, follows it to the letter. This duty, of course, revolves entirely around the art of controlling and deceiving others, keeping them under Heavenly control for as long as possible. It’s a world that seeks to impose the false reality of Heaven’s propaganda, devised and delivered through Sariel, as the only reality. Even when internalized, this inner world is the sort to keep on shining through, but its truest power shows itself only once she activates it and materializes it as a pocket dimension.
The activation of Sariel’s inner world drowns the world around her in a vast spiral of colors and sensations, drawing all those caught in it inside. The world within does not attempt to look like reality at all - it appears more like an animation, really, with people simplified into typically cartoonish depictions, and their surroundings rendered abstractly. These visuals are inconsistent and are in constant flux, flowing in response to Sariel’s emotion - the art style often shifts, and the locale is ultimately really more like a background than anything important, changing quickly and unpredictably. Colors can be vibrant one second and dull the next, but the world is rarely at all truly realistic - Sariel prefers stylization to realism in her art, after all. And that’s what this is - her art, a story for her to control.
This fluidity is representative of Scenarist Subcon’s effects. The entire inner world is saturated in hypnotic magic, a swirl of indescribable emotion that renders concepts themselves fluid and open to suggestion. Reality itself distorts in response to something so powerful, allowing Sariel to control her inner world freely, almost as if she were an animator pouring over a storyboard. It’s not just reality that’s affected, though - the most significant effect Scenarist Subcon has is on the souls of others, as it renders their inner worlds more and more malleable over time. Eventually, they’re like clay, as flexible and malleable as Sariel wants, allowing her to twist and shape them however she desires, forcing them into new roles and directions. Failing that, with a snap of her finger, she can just take someone out of the script, scouring their inner world from existence and rejecting the basis of their existence outright.
It’d take a while to rev up to such powerful effects against the sort of foes that would warrant the use of her inner world, however, and so Sariel has other tricks up her sleeves. The first is the degree of control she has over her inner world, allowing her to control close to every detail, like a particular director who insistently agonizes over every detail, timing, shot composition, and all. With her hypnotic magic in full force, Sariel can screw around with an opponent quite a bit, even limiting their perception to certain “shots” and denying them information as much as she wants. Secondly… well, quite a lot of people have been caught into this inner world over the years, and some of them never really left. Instead, they remain as aspects of it, rotted into subservient existences as angels who assist Sariel by handling many of these details themselves and amplify her processing power and spellcasting efforts with their own.
The most notable of this crew is a double of Sariel herself, a representation of the masks she must wear in public. This double, the actor, is actually the one who does most of the fighting, while the real Sariel, the director, hides behind the curtain and focuses on the details and broader sweeps, directing her cast and crew from safety and stepping in with larger changes when necessary. It’s possible for both of them to actually fight together, and this often will happen at some point or another. The double, while the strongest of Sariel’s crew, remains only a shadow of her true self in magical power and complexity, and cannot handle genuine threats single-handedly, nor can it act outside of Scenarist Subcon.
Scenarist Subcon has one more trick up its sleeve, too. When Sariel is under particular stress, such as when even her inner world can’t ensure victory, or when things just aren’t going as she’s planned even if she’s winning, it may enter into its Climax. In this state, Scenarist Subcon’s cartoony landscapes bleed away into just broad strokes - a hastily sketched storyboard, where everything is black and white. Not just the landscapes - everything but Sariel. Other people, the entire crew included, are reduced only to vague sketches, usually indistinguishable from one another, while Sariel is rendered beautifully, with all the care in the world, showcasing an exaggerated sort of emotion and perfection that’s simply impossible in reality. She is, after all, the only one that matters in this sea of mindless drones.
During Climax, Sariel is simply at her best, exploding into emotion and passion and fury, raging against the injustice and pointlessness of her existence. Asaradel and Scenarist Subcon alike are brought to their greatest heights, their effects growing more and more powerful, so much so that Climax can quickly unravel stubborn existences and open them up for reinterpretation - or, most commonly, erasure, the only result Sariel finds suitable for what she sees only as cattle. They simply fall apart in Scenarist Subcon, denied the right to exist and think. Others are absorbed into Sariel’s crew, and one unlucky soul was spat back out as a completely different person, killed and reincarnated within.
Override Sigil: An extremely advanced form of magical technique used to change the nature of reality around and within the user, allowing them to bend and break through the laws of physics. Due to their complexity, Override Sigils are incredibly difficult to create, use, and control properly, requiring detailed knowledge and a powerful will. In addition, they tend to, invariably, drain a lot of energy and stamina, making it difficult to use them for extended periods of time, even if this can be mitigated by more powerful and willful agents.
- Relative Lightspeed: A common form of Override Sigil that is ultimately developed in some form or another by most agents as they increase in power and speed. Normally, it would be impossible for even an incredibly powerful and willful agent to break through a universal constant such as the speed of light, theoretically requiring infinite magical energy to do so. However, this Override Sigil circumvents this issue by modifying the user's inner world to change the value of c to whatever they please, raising it as they grow in speed so that they can accelerate past the universal speed limit.